'70s Dirty Harry film predicted the identity politics insanity
The Enforcer from 1976 was the third installment in the "Dirty Harry" film series, where Clint Eastwood's Inspector Callahan and his new partner team up to foil a terrorist organization called "The People's Revolutionary Strike Force."
Early in the film, Callahan is punished by his superior for using excessive force to resolve a hostage situation and is transferred to the personnel department, where he is compelled to be part of an interview panel for promotions.
In addition to the police officers, a certain Mrs. Grey of the mayor's staff is also on the panel to monitor the interviews. Grey is depicted as having a personality like that of Hillary Clinton, with an air of smug sanctimoniousness and arrogance.
Grey instantly loathes Harry; she pompously declares that the mayor plans to bring the department in line with "the mainstream of 20th century" thought by broadening "the areas of participation for women" in the police force and "winnowing the Neanderthals out."
There are eight vacancies, but the San Francisco Police Department has decided in favor of a quota system by promoting five men and three women.
The candidate being interviewed is a woman called Kate Moore. When Harry is given a chance to question Kate, he asks if she can run fast, which is essential for an inspector. But Harry is immediately overridden by another panelist eager for Mrs. Grey's approval.
Harry then asks Kate about her most important felony or misdemeanor arrest. Kate replies that she has made neither, since her experience is restricted to personnel and records.
Harry questions why Kate deserves to be an inspector when there are male officers who have been in the field for over a decade and a half. This causes Mrs. Grey to claim that Harry is implying that a "woman's place is in the home.''
Harry reminds everyone about the perils associated with the job and how Kate will have to make a split-second decision when a gun is pointed at her. Grey accuses Harry of trying to sabotage the female candidate's chances, implying that he is a misogynist and a sexist.
Harry stresses that if Kate falters in the field, she could pay not only with her life, but also that of her partner. Harry wonders if all of this loss of life is worth it so that the department can claim to be "stylish" — i.e., the charade of diversity.
Harry presents Kate with a hypothetical criminal situation and asks Kate to state the laws that were violated.
Kate immediately begins stating the specific laws but is interrupted by an officer on the panel, and the interview is concluded.
Scenes later, we learn that Kate was promoted to being an inspector despite her lack of experience and a hasty interview. She is assigned as Harry's partner, much to his chagrin.
Later in the film, the captain, desperate for good P.R. and to show the mayor that they are delivering results, arrests a black militant group that has no relation to the terror group that is wreaking havoc across the city.
But the P.R. doesn't stop there. The captain suggests to the mayor that Harry and his new female partner be credited with the arrests, in order to demonstrate that the mayor's new guidelines about women in the force have worked wonders. The captain, hoping to be in the good graces of the mayor, suggests that the exercise will be beneficial to the mayor in his upcoming election.
Next, Inspector Moore and Harry in the background are paraded before the press and compelled to pose for pictures before the mayor. Harry resents this charade and makes it amply clear to the captain by using harsh words, for which he is suspended.
Some assumed that Harry resented being saddled with Kate because he is a sexist. But it eventually becomes clear that his resentment strictly owes to her lack of experience. Kate is depicted as humble and willing to learn from Harry's experience; she is also amiable but assertive when she needs to be.
As Harry works with Kate, he learns to respect her. She even ends up saving Harry's life, leading Harry to concede in his usual succinct manner that "whoever draws you as a partner could do a lot worse."
The insanity of identity politics isn't restricted to recruitment and promotion. Harry is informed by the captain that the minority community has "just about had it with this kind of police work," implying that Harry is a racist. Harry wonders if the captain is referring to criminals who happen to be from the minority community and reminds the captain that their job should be focused on protecting citizens.
The captain, who seems keener on local politics than law enforcement, claims he disapproves of violence (against criminals), causing Harry to sarcastically reply: "What should I do, yell ''trick-or-treat'' at them?"
The same "liberal" captain instantly assumes that a black militant group is responsible for a terror attack and even arrests them despite there being no proof of their involvement to generate good P.R.
"Racist" Harry, instead of jumping to conclusions, meets the leader of the black militants to find that they are not guilty. Harry proceeds to cultivate his relationship with the leader, who provides him with valuable clues to resolving the terror conspiracy.
It is quite astonishing how prescient this almost fifty-year-old film is.
Fiction is usually a reflection of reality, which proves that this identity politics insanity has been brewing in liberal precincts for decades.
Liberals gradually made inroads not just in government organizations such as the police force and the U.S. Army, but also in corporate houses such that it is an unwritten law today. Most organizations boast on their websites about diversity.
Diversity is a euphemism for a quota system that is discriminatory and unconstitutional. Diversity focuses on perceived victimhood rather than achievement or experience or talent. Diversity focuses on generating P.R. instead of concrete accomplishment. Diversity crushes spirits because it punishes the meritorious through no fault of their own.
The best system allows everyone to compete fairly and chooses the best among them, irrespective of (and not because of) race or sex or any other attribute.
The film also predicted how the focus shifted from protecting victims to focusing on the racial or ethnic identity of the perpetrators.
No screenwriter could have ever predicted the level of insanity seen now — i.e., lawmakers demanding that the police be defunded.
In current times, law enforcement has been vilified to such an extent that officers are probably petrified to act against criminals who happen to be black for fear of being branded racist and being target of a focused media smear campaign. They probably choose to overlook certain criminals, and the damage done is unspeakable — precious innocent lives lost and property damaged.
The left won this identity politics war by deploying its activists at the grassroots, infiltrating organizations of consequence, attaching virtue to their agenda, and making incremental changes.
Conservatives on the other hand assumed that winning elections was enough to protect their interests.
If this insanity has to be undone and fairness has to be restored, the war will once again have to be waged at the grassroots.
Screen shot from Dirty Harry movie posted by det pekande fingret via YouTube.